Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra is proud to celebrate women in music for their 2019/20 season; paying homage to the likes of Clara Schumann, Fanny Hensel, Louise Farrenc and Lili Boulanger.
We’re thrilled to be playing such varied concert repertoire this season. Our recently appointed Musical Director, George has brought a such fresh perspective to the Orchestra and has inspired us to push ourselves as an ensemble. Going forward, the SPO will be promoting a much broader repertoire and supporting the creation of new music. We’ll still be performing people’s favourite classics, but we’ll be presenting them in an entirely new way.
Our 2019/20 programme of events features some real goliaths of music in the nineteenth and twentieth century. We opened the season in November with a concert featuring a new commission of Clara Schumann’s ‘Quatre Pieces Charisterique’ for full orchestra, accompanied by the uplifting and beautifully melodic music of her contemporaries Farrenc, Tchaikovsky and Brahms.
In March, we will be returning to the stage to perform works by nineteenth century siblings Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, alongside works by their German contemporaries, Mahler and Beethoven. Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D major will be played by winner of the BBC Music Magazine’s Instrumental Award 2018, Fenella Humphreys. Fenella’s work is regularly broadcast on the BBC, Classic FM, Deutschland Radio Berlin and Korean Radio, this concert will be a fantastic opportunity to see her perform live in Sheffield.
The SPO will then close the season with a programme of 20th century works by Elgar, Britten and Lili Boulanger. Elgar and Britten might be household names, but the French composer Lili Boulanger will be unknown by most. The first female winner of the prestigious Prix de Rome composition prize, Lili died at the untimely young age of 24. Lili and her older sister, Nadia both studied at the Paris Conservatory with Gabriel Fauré.
Nadia went on to a successful career as a conductor, composer, performer, recording artist and teacher. Among her students were some of the leading composers, soloists, arrangers, and conductors of the twentieth century, including: Aaron Copland, Daniel Barenboim, Philip Glass and Quincy Jones. Who knows what her sister might have achieved if she had lived longer??